The night before we left on this grand adventure my dad handed me a Ziploc bag of greeting cards. I was already fighting tears as we said goodbye, so I waited until he left to open the bag and look through the cards.
There were about twenty cards in various sizes, each sealed with a date, event or month written on the envelope.
The first card was labeled for the next day, the first day of our journey. There were cards for our flight leaving the US, birthdays, holidays, and some seemingly random dates sprinkled in. There were small ones that just had the name of the month on the envelope in a child’s handwriting.
Inside each of those cards our family had written messages of encouragement, holiday wishes, hand-drawn pictures, and ridiculous travel advice. During last six months, we have cherished those cards and looked forward to opening the next card in the queue. We’ve read them via flashlight in the back of taxis, saved them to read on planes, and put them up on dressers to feel a little more at home on our birthdays. We’ve laughed at the stupid jokes inside and I’ve cried reading the notes they wrote to future us, assuming that we would have made it this long in our world travels.
On March 11, I opened the last two cards in the pile. It was bittersweet knowing that we had made it long enough to make it through the whole pile, but I’ll miss knowing that there is a plastic bag full of unread notes from my family safe part of my pack. I know it was no small feat finding holiday cards out of season or coordinating my ridiculously un-coordinated family to sign each of the cards, but it has meant the world to us.
Love from out in the world (with full hearts and an empty Ziploc bag),
Cathleen & Christopher
P.S. I promise, virtual safari #4 (The Serengeti!) is still on the way, but I’m determined to include video of awesome animal footage and teaching myself how to stitch all of our clips together has been a challenge. I’m almost there, I swear.